With so many industries leveraging logistical services, there is scope for immense learning across various sectors like support, transportation, storage, production and distribution, making logistics and supply and chain management an appealing career option, says Bhavik Chinai
It is often said that logistics is the very backbone on which global business rests. The logistics industry has been important ever since civilisation took root, and has continued to be extremely relevant even in this digital age. Be it an online fashion and lifestyle brand or a Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) manufacturing auxiliary equipment for heavy machine tools, logistics connects businesses and enterprises across verticals and market segments by a common thread. This is what makes a career in the logistics and supply chain management (SCM) industry such an interesting, evergreen career proposition.
With so many industry sectors leveraging logistical services, there is scope of immense learning across various avenues like support, transportation, storage, production, storage and distribution. The sustained growth of over 50 per cent in the Indian e-commerce retail sector underlines the need for efficient and sustainable logistics operations for various sizes of e-commerce retailers in India. The growing prominence of the marketplace model and the increasing penetration of e-commerce are likely to alter the way e-commerce logistics functions in India.
As per the KPMG report titled Fulfilled! E-commerce Retail logistics in India, the logistics sector specific to e-commerce retailing in India was valued at $ 0.2 billion in 2014 and is projected to witness a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 48 per cent in the upcoming five years to reach $2.2 billion by 2020.
Another major benefit of choosing a career in SCM and logistics is the opportunity for growth that the industry represents. The industry also gives a chance for professionals to interact with other industries and respective experts. This aids the aggregation of valuable insights into various business functions for more well-rounded personal and professional growth.
With the recent digital revolution, the opportunities in the field of logistics are increasing at an exponential rate, providing a very diverse playing field for anyone with the right skill-set and a passion for tackling challenges day in, day out.
Several universities and skills development providers are now directing their focus towards specialisations in logistics and supply chain management. Moreover, given the intricately connected nature of the sector, it is also often preferable for businesses in the logistics field to promote and train employees from a lower level into higher-level positions rather than hire people from outside and bring them up to speed about the industry structure.
A combination of delivery speed, upgraded warehousing infrastructure, better service capabilities, technological advancements and innovations could be some of the must-have skills for the e-commerce logistics Service Providers (lSPs) in the longer run.
There are employment opportunities available at every level, for people of all educational levels in the field. Depending upon the qualification and proficiency, professionals looking for a career in logistics can opt for any role across a range of options such as analyst, consultant, customer service manager, international logistics manager, inventory control manager, logistics engineer, logistics manager, logistics services salesperson, logistics software manager, materials manager, production manager, purchasing manager, supply chain manager, systems support manager, transportation manager, vendor managed inventory coordinator and warehouse operations manager.
Jobs of supply chain professionals are available in various industries like aerospace and defence, automotive, consumer goods, FMCG, healthcare, electronics, manufacturing, oil and gas, retail, IT, tele-communications, third party logistic, service, construction, chemical, consulting etc.
The challenges within the industry must not be discounted before committing to a career in logistics. While there is rarely a dull day in logistics, it is not for the weak-hearted. The work culture in a logistics firm can be highly driven and operationally intense. So before taking the plunge, one must be sure that they can cope up with the myriad rigours and demands that are common place in the industry.
Given the requirement for the talent in the industry, the pay scales have also risen to match the demand. Bikers and runners now have packages of Rs15,000 to Rs 25,000 per month, while the leadership and CXO levels often have seven-figure annual packages.
(The writer is CEO, Vamaship)